As a child, I was always excited to attend an assembly for a school fundraiser. As a 10-year-old, the prizes were AMAZING! Sell $50, get a slap bracelet. If you sold $51 to $200, you’d get a Walkman. And sell $201 to $400, receive a skateboard. Holy shit, the possibilities were endless.
When my sons attended a faith-based private school, they would be sent home with 2 catalogs. One would have all of these sugary fudges, cookies or cheese ball mixes. You simply mixed a packet with cream cheese that would then override your sensory glands and deliver the following message: “I’m cream cheese and this I am good. Now, direct me to your thighs please.” The 2nd catalog would be sent home consisting of junk, priced roughly 200% over cost including wall plaques, cookery and wrapping paper.
As a “go-getter” each year, I would attempt to cheat my son’s existing fundraiser. I say “cheat” because rewards were based on units, not dollar numbers. ‘Holy shitballs!’ I thought, ‘all I have to do is order 7 units of something that costs $1.99 and I won…I mean, he’s won.’
When the catalog came home I quickly retrieved it from their backpacks. Surely there has to be an array of useless Christmas junk ranging in price from $1.99 to $249.00.
Obviously the Mad Men of “Scam Another School” thought this through. The cheapest item was a roll of wrapping paper for $6.99!
‘Me too cheap for $6.99,’ I thought.
To give you perspective on my philosophy, I have been physically “visiting” the following wrapping paper at Target, awaiting for it to be marked down. It’s by Sugar of Los Angeles and is $5.00 a roll. I hesitated because I had visions of wrapping a tie box and an X-Box game and the roll would be done. I waited, I was good. After Black Friday, I had a 20% off coupon, so I decided to pull the trigger. Yes, I just used that douche expression. Sorry! I bought the wrap with my red card and got it for $3.80. I don’t know why I’m saying this but I feel the need to drop a mic and say “you’re welcome.”
Back to the overpriced, tacky wrapping. Admittingly, I’m a wrapping paper snob and the paper selection was less than stellar. Skylanders or country snowman? Really? Clydesdales with wreaths around their necks? Did the Amish design the paper? I decided to be honest with my youngest.
On the last day of the sale I asked my 6-year-old to chat for a moment.
“Look, you have sold 8 products which is awesome! We would have sold more but you are peacing out of this school after this year so if we were to sell more…well it would be kinda’ like helping the opposition.” I realized that was a word he was unfamiliar with.
“…like helping the bad guys.” I elaborated.
“My school has bad guys mommy?”
Realizing my transgression I quickly brushed his forehead, “No, no! Your school has all good guys. We just want to give you a leg up for your future school!”
“You want to give me an extra leg?” He said now clearly freaking out.
“Oh gosh no. Basically we want you to be the smartest in your class.” Really no sense in beating around the bush here.
This seemed to please him and he went about his way.